5 Tips & Tricks for Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator

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In this series, Adobe Certified Instructor Bill Carberry shares some of his most helpful secrets for optimizing your workflow and creating different effects using the most common software for professional design work.

Creating Panoramas with iPhone vs. Photoshop

Since the iPhone Camera App Pano mode came along, quickly creating panoramas is a simple matter. I was keen to compare results with Photoshop’s Photomerge feature, so I went to a busy Farmer’s Market on a Saturday as a case study for my Photoshop class and achieved these results with my iPhone 6S Plus.

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iPhone Panorama: Notice how moving targets become blurry and distorted no matter how slowly you pan in portrait from side to side. It works much better with still images like landscapes.

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Photoshop Panorama: If you have an iPhone 6 or 7, turn off Live Photos by tapping the tiny yellow circle at the top of the Camera app. Otherwise you’ll get three-second movies, which will not work with Photoshop’s Photomerge feature. You can also take landscape instead of portrait photos (required with iPhone) for a full 180 degrees with only four to five freeze-frame images for a 15-foot-wide wall mural.

Utilizing Illustrator’s Greatest Hits: The Touch Type Tool and Assets Panel

We’ve seen many big breakthroughs with Creative Cloud over the past several years, but my all-time favorite is still Illustrator’s Touch Type tool. If you create a lot of logos for a living and you’re still sticking with CS5 or CS6, the Touch Type tool can quickly justify the cost of the upgrade. Resizing, rotating and kerning characters has never been easier. Select a character, and then tap the left or right arrow keys to kern or simply drag the handles to make amazing things happen. You can also use it with touchscreens such as the Surface Pro from Microsoft.

You can test your kerning skills by playing the Kerning Game here: http://type.method.ac/

TouchType

Heavy metal: Making metal logos is a breeze with Illustrator’s Touch Type tool (last tool on the Text toolbar) and the Metal Silver or Gold Type Effects Graphic Style. The Assets panel is essential for web and app developers to expedite exporting and accommodating the neverending proliferation of mobile device screen and icon size requirements for iOS and Android devices. See a tutorial here.

retinizer

There’s a similar free Photoshop Add-on available called Retinizer, which simply scripts exporting via Save for Web, which was moved to the File > Export menu with CC 2015, causing confusion and chaos for all earlier books and tutorials. You can fetch it for free here.

Embrace the Mobile App Revolution

Mobile apps seem to be germinating in their own ecosystem and evolving in new directions. Apple is making big breakthroughs with devices like the iPhone 7S Plus and the iPad Pro. Apple claims the Lightroom mobile app can replicate 90% of the editing prowess of the desktop version of Lightroom.

Artwork created with mobile apps like Adobe Illustrator Draw & Photoshop Sketch for iOS can be very complex, which makes it difficult to edit in Illustrator CC and Photoshop CC. If you run into problems, you might consider trying this: Use Illustrator’s Eraser Tool, Object > Path > Simplify, or Object > Rasterize commands, then use the Liquify tools (Warp, Twirl, Pucker, Bloat, etc.)—perhaps with a Wacom tablet—to take further control.

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The Final Frontier: We are witnessing some amazing results from mobile apps like Adobe Illustrator Draw, Photoshop Fix, Mix & Photoshop Sketch showcased on Behance.com

More Quick Tips & Tricks

  • Need to know the HTML or Hex Code for a color in Photoshop? Right-click with the Eyedropper Tool to copy/paste it.
  • Need to know the closest Pantone color in an image? First click with Eyedropper, now click the Foreground Color at the bottom of the Tools panel, and then click the Color Libraries button. Be sure to crosscheck with an actual Pantone Swatch book.

For further tips and tricks, please see my Photoshop & Illustrator Tips & Tricks Workshop at HOWU: Plus visit my website at aci4hire.com for public or private custom classes conducted on-site or online worldwide.

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